When children who have been schooled come to the unschooling life, they go through a period termed deschooling. It is a transition from a schooled world-view (and the actions that arise from it) to one that is more free and expansive. Children need to go through this process in order to rediscover their natural curiosity and love for learning. Generally, the longer a child has been in school, the longer they need to move through the deschooling period but there is no specific time frame. Each child moves at her own pace.
This time can be a bit worrisome for parents. While a lot of processing is going on inside the child, outwardly it may look like he’s doing absolutely nothing – or at least nothing productive. We took my son out of preschool about 6 months into his second year. He had been deeply traumatized by the experience he’d had that second year. While he deschooled, he actually regressed in some areas.
Given time, support and acceptance kids pass through this phase and come out the other side, ready to make discoveries and pursue their passions as they embrace the freedom that unschooling provides.
For more about deschooling you can check out Dayna Martin’s video
You can also read: Joyce Fetteroll’s answers to questions about deschooling